Turismo Prerrománico > BEATO CORSINI


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Referencia: Biblioteca dell’Accademia Nacionale del Lincei e Corsiniana de Roma, S. 40 E.6.

Dimensiones: 163 X 93mm.

171 folios de pergamino de buena calidad, 14 folios en letra visigótica y el resto en carolina, a una columna con unas 37-40 líneas por página.

Se han perdido la mayoría de sus imágenes, conservándose en la actualidad sólo ocho de ellas.

Facsímil disponible: Códice completo: Siloé, arte y bibliofilia.


Libro de imágenes del Beato Corsini que nuestro colaborador J-L Monneret ha limpiado y comentado. Pulsar la imagen para acceder. Desde el ibro se accede a toda la información disponible sobre el Beato.


Entorno histórico

El cuarto angel derrama una copa sobre el solUntil the seventeenth century there was no news about this codex, which was very complicated to analyze, since, in addition to having suffered major mutilations that fundamentally affected the images, it consists of two very different parts, even with different fonts. Nor does it include any reference to its origin or to its authors, but although it has not yet been studied in depth, there seems to be no doubt about its Spanish origin. Its possible scriptorium of origin is more controversial since there are specialists who attribute it to the Royal Monastery of San Benito de Sahagún, but other authors place its origin in some Navarrese or Aragonese monastery.

As to its date of creation there are also doubts, considering both the possibility that the two parts correspond to two different manuscripts, in which case the first could be from the end of the eleventh century and the second to a later century, or a single manuscript from the second half of the 12th century.

It is believed that it belonged to Conde Duque de Olivares, included in a large set of codices that requisitioned churches and monasteries and that were sold by his heirs. It is known that around 1693 it belonged to the Spanish scholar Juan Lucas Cortés, who would possibly sell it to Cardinal Aquaviva during his visit to Madrid in 1701. It appears for the first time documented the year 1738 in the inventory of the library of Cardinal Corsini as the volume “CORS 369”, although there is no reference to this manuscript in two other catalogues of this library made in 1755 and 1786.


It is an atypical “Blessed” by its size, 163 X 93mm and, therefore, much smaller than the rest of the copies of the Commentaries to the Apocalypse that we know. His folios are parchmentLa ciudad de Jerusalén of good quality, properly prepared, and the book should have been little used because, although it has suffered mutilations, the part that is preserved is in good condition.

It consists of two clearly differentiated parts. One consists of 14 folios -144 to 156, plus part of folio 106- written in round Visigoth script, which is also used in miniature signs. The other, which includes the remaining 157 folios, is written in Carolina script. The fourteen folios that are conserved in Visigothic script, have a high quality writing in light brown with initials in red and on a much more marked stripe than in the rest. Contains an excerpt from an anonymous commentary on the Apocalypse without any relation to the work in which it is inserted.

The main part of the manuscript is written, on a very little perceptible stripe, in Carolina letter with safe and very regular strokes in which various colors are used, dominating brown and black. Contains the Commentaries to the Apocalypse, though El ángel con la trompetamissing complete books IX and X and some other loose items. His text contains serious errors, to the point that Z. García Villada considers that “The multiple gaps in the text, as well as its infinite confusions demonstrate the copyist’s crass ignorance”.

As for the few miniatures that have been preserved, we also find two very different styles, although in this case the proportion is the opposite of in the texts since there are seven that show an older style, related to the purest Mozarabic miniature although they appear interspersed in the part of the letter carolina, and only one very badly preserved -folio 155r, which closes the part of the letter visigoda- is very different and looks later, already of Romanesque type.

All this set of characteristics so special seems to indicate that at the end of the twelfth century a Blessed was written in which the remains of another manuscript were reused at least one hundred years earlier and that it was not a copy of the Commentaries of Beato de Liébana but of an original different from. For this purpose, the format of the first one would have been maintained, reusing a part of the text that was included in the new manuscript, while taking advantage, distributed among the new pages, of some single images of the previous one.


It is evident that a thorough study of this manuscript would be necessary to solve the multiple unknowns it presents. Only in that case could we not only know the reason for its special size, common in the books of hours but unique in the range of the blesseds, but also if it is a single codex written and illuminated by several hands or two manuscripts and, in this case, if most of the images, which appear to be older, come from the former even though they have been used intercalated in the second phase. In any case, an in-depth study could also provide some more reliable data on their provenance, whether single or multiple monasteries, and their dating. We trust that the appearance of your facsimile will facilitate the analysis of such an interesting and little-known codex.



Historia de España de Menéndez Pidal: Tomos VI y VII*
L’Art Préroman Hispanique: ZODIAQUE
Arte y Arquitectura española 500/1250: Joaquín Yarza
A propósito del Códice 369 de la Biblioteca Corsiniana de Roma: J.J. Gómez Arcas


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